Coaching Talent – Part 1
By David Kidd, BPR
As a programmer coaching talent can be difficult for a number of reasons.
It requires a deep understanding of the talent’s strengths and weaknesses as well as the ability to effectively communicate and motivate them to improve. Additionally, as a coach you have to be able to adapt to the unique needs and goals of each individual, as well as being able to provide constructive feedback and guidance. You will need to create a positive and supportive learning environment and to build trust and rapport with the individuals being coached. All these skills are not common in any given individual and require a lot of time and experience to master.
Here are some bullet points on why coaching talent can be a difficult task:
- Resistance to change: Talent may be resistant to feedback or suggestions for improvement, which can make it difficult to effectively coach them. They may think “sure you are the PD but where’s your on air experience?” This is of course is a naïve approach…some of the greatest film directors have never been actors. Some of the greatest football coaches have never been star players.
- Lack of self-awareness: Often talent may not be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, which can make it difficult for a PD to identify areas for improvement.
- Communication: Effective communication is key to successful coaching, but some talent may have difficulty understanding or accepting feedback. They immediately get defensive. Conversely, the PD may need to polish up their communication skills to deal with talent on an individual basis and not just a “one size fits all” approach.
- Lack of trust: If a PD is not able to build trust and rapport with the individual/show being coached, it makes it very difficult to effectively guide and motivate them.
- Limited time: Coaching talent can be time-consuming, and some PD’s may not have enough time to devote to each individual. Let’s face it most PD’s in 2023 are under a lot of time pressure.
- Lack of experience: Coaching talent requires experience and knowledge; some PD’s may not have the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively coach the individual. This will of course result in push back from the talent.
- Finally……the talent just hasn’t got “it” to make to the next level. They’re good but not great….no matter how many hours you put in….and you need great.